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June 17, 2011

Market Update

This Saturday at the Selinsgrove Hometown Harvest from 9-1, Serious Farms will be offering the following:

  • Serious Salad Mix (leaf lettuce, arugula, dill, parsley)
  • Romaine Lettuce (including Forellenschluss)
  • Kale
  • Holland Greens (a fantastic cooking green)
  • Garlic Scapes (recipes here and here)
  • Radishes
  • Baby Nantes Carrots
  • Avalanche Snow Peas
  • Snap Peas
  • Herbs: Parsley and Dill
  • Potted Basil
  • Fresh Garden Bouquets

Food News

We all want to know more about our food- how it was grown, how far it traveled to reach our plates- but many of us don’t know which questions to ask a farmer. Many people assume that everything at a farmer’s market is organically grown and local. You might be surprised to find out that at a lot of markets, the people selling the food didn’t even grow it. Last Saturday, someone asked us if we grew everything that was on our table. I was proud to say yes.  Here’s a really good guide with some basic questions to ask farmers.

If you asked us about our farm, I would tell you that we grow produce at our home in Selinsgrove, which is about 5 blocks from the Farmer’s Market. We also rent a few plots at the Community Garden. Our goal is to purchase a farm, but we don’t want to be too far from Selinsgrove. Last year we raised pastured poultry outside of Sunbury, and we miss our chickens. We are eager to live on a farm, where we can stretch out and grow more veggies, get back to pastured poultry, and start raising pigs in the woods. We’ve also been reading about shitake mushrooms and beekeeping. We are always learning something new, but one thing that remains constant is our belief that really good food should be a basic human right. We use organic methods- no harmful chemicals. We manage pests by  using companion planting, deep mulch, and organic alternatives to pesticides, chiefly lime. We rely on compost and fish emulsion to provide a lot of nutrients for our vegetables. We also use low-till and no-till methods, seeking to maintain the soil structure as much as possible. Please ask farmers about the food they’re selling and how they grew it. Most small-scale, sustainable farmers will be eager to answer your questions.

On another note, you may have heard that the USDA has revamped their old food pyramid. We now have My Plate. I took one look at new guidelines and became frustrated. If we want to change the nation’s diet, we’ve got change the farm subsidies. I already talked about that here, so I won’t repeat myself. I think Livestrong’s article about My Plate nailed it on the head. The image is confusing and doesn’t get at the root of the problems.

Field Notes

This week, we spent a lot of time mulching the garden. We apply a deep mulch, consisting of partially composted leaves, between our vegetables. This keeps the weeds down, helps moisture stay near the roots of plants, and adds more organic matter to the soil as it decomposes. We spend a lot of time mulching, but it saves us from spending a lot more time weeding!

You can always place an order for fresh herbs. As I mentioned in last week’s post, we don’t always bring lesser-known herbs to market. However, if you email us and place an order, you can pick up your herbs at the Saturday market. We currently have the following herbs: Lemon Balm, Catnip, Monarda (aka Bee Balm). They are great for herbal teas. One bunch of herbs is $2.

Recipe of the week- Creamy Dill Salad Dressing. Pick up your copy, when you buy veggies from us on Saturday.

Questions? Email

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